Major layoff spree leaves Sports Illustrated’s future uncertain


Both companies will continue operating Sports Illustrated website and magazine, but do not know how

This combination of images shows two different issues of the Sports Illustrated. — X/@royalsreview, @_MLFootball

Popular publication Sports Illustrated (SI) laid off a significant number of workers after its publisher failed to make a quarterly payment, ending the licensing deal for the iconic publication, the union for the magazine’s workers confirmed on Friday.

Earlier this month, in a filing, the publisher Arena Group revealed that it failed to make the $3.75 million payment to Authentic Brands Group, the owner of SI and from whom it licenses the magazine.

So what does the future hold for the iconic publication?

Following the layoffs, both companies have stated they will continue operating the website and magazine, but they have yet to determine how they will do it, The New York Post reported.

“We are going to continue to operate Sports Illustrated,” The Arena Group’s Matt Lombardi said. “Either Arena or someone else is going to have the license to operate Sports Illustrated.

Authentic Brands released a statement Friday, saying it plans to continue with SI’s editorial operations despite ending its publisher’s licence.

“Yesterday, The Arena Group’s license to serve as the publisher of Sports Illustrated was terminated as a result of the company’s failure to pay its quarterly license fee despite being given a notice of breach and an opportunity to cure the breach,” the company said in a statement.

However, Authentic was not aware of the layoffs beforehand, according to Awful Announcing.

“The layoffs are not an Authentic thing, they’re an Arena thing,” a representative told the outlet. “This is not something we were privy to.”

Front Office Sports reports that Authentic is in discussions with Bridge Media, owned by Manoj Bhargava and is set to merge with The Arena Group, to find a new publishing partner.

A Friday United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing includes Arena owing Authentic $45 million after the revocation of the SI license.

SI, a prominent sports writing and photography publication since 1954, has been sold to Time Inc., Meredith, and Authentic.



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